Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce that the 2017 Youth Opportunities Award will be shared among two applicants who will offer opportunities for youth in Guelph and Wellington County to become engaged in the arts. The recipients are Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School and the Artsy Activists student group, both of whom will receive support to cover artistic fees related to their proposed projects.

Guelph’s Our Lady of Lourdes School requested support for a unique and powerful opportunity for collaboration between manufacturing and visual arts students to create a found-metal sculpture for installation on the school property. To be built from salvaged scrap metal, the sculpture will include some aspect of movable parts. The students will be mentored by Barrie artist Ron Baird who specializes in kinetic sculpture, and has over 200 public sculptures to his credit. The resulting artwork will not only enhance the school’s campus and the adjacent neighbourhood, but will also demonstrate to the participating students that “the skilled trades, such as welding, have a role to play in the creation of artistic images.” 

The Artsy Activists group submitted their application for assistance in establishing a discussion, art, and action-based collective for youth, aged 14 to 19, including but not limited to LGBTQ2S+, female-identified, Indigenous, immigrant and youth of colour. Led by three Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute Grade 11 students, Sequoia Kim, Elise Kephart and Sam Knight, the group aims “to empower and inspire youth by incorporating art and activism through discussion and action,” including through “exhibitions, creating social justice-inspired and informative art, as well as publishing an Artsy Activists book.” The group also emphasizes that their project, “designed by youth for youth,” will show that youth working together can make a difference.

Established in 2009 to take the place of a previous youth awards program dating back to 1982, the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award is intended to encourage programs that will initiate, enhance or expand opportunities for children and youth in Guelph and Wellington County to experience or become engaged in the arts. Funds for the award come from the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Fund managed by the Guelph Community Foundation.

For more information about the award program, contact Guelph Arts Council at 519-836-3280 or [email protected]

Find the original press release here

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